NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY (960-1127)
9 cm diameter, 5.1 cm high
The bowl rises from a straight foot to steep slightly rounded sides. The exterior is painted in dark brown slip onto a layer of white slip with two scrolling stylised floral sprays, all underneath a transparent glaze, also covering the interior. The bottom part and base are left unglazed showing the greyish buff material.
The shape of the present bowl is quite unusual and somewhat reminiscent of later Japanese thickly potted stoneware tea bowls, which may have been inspired from this type of Northern Chinese bowls. The freely painted floral design is infused with russet-brown spots caused by the high level of iron oxide in the dark brown slip. The ground layer of white slip enhances the striking contrast of the design.